Is your work space looking cluttered, messy and makes you feel leaving work right away every morning? If that sounds like you, there are actually a few simple ways to revamp your work space to make it look exciting, stimulating and comfortable! Here are 6 simple steps:
1) Basic Housekeeping
In order to improve your work space, you first need to organize what you need and what you do not need. A cluttered work space hinders you because it is a reflection of a cluttered mind. And the longer you take to find your files, the longer you take to organize your thoughts. Start to clear away stuff that is no longer relevant. Old files and minutes, scrap paper, even remains of your last snack. Sort your file cabinet into categories, schedule your appointments on a calendar program, and leave some room for a work corner for you to do some serious work.
Your end result should be a work space that is neat and comfortable for all your working needs. More importantly, you should have all your resources at your fingertips so you are ready to take on any task.
2) Invest in Ergonomics
Now that you got the work part of your work space settled, it’s time to focus on your tools for work. Most of us are desk bound for at least a few hours a day; therefore it would make sense to invest in some good office furniture. If you find it difficult to spend the extra money on some proper furniture, think of it as spending money in advance so you can avoid visiting the chiropractor or physiotherapist for neck and shoulder aches, back pains or even long term spinal damage. Spending this small bit of money will definitely be worth your while.
Invest in an ergonomic office chair that provides good arm and back support, preferably something that is adjustable since most of us do not decide the measurements of our table. Here’s a good example of what you should look out for when buying an office chair:
If you can, you can consider getting an adjustable height desk as studies have shown that standing and moving about while at work actually reduces muscle fatigue and improves circulation. It is also very useful in fighting food comas right after lunch. I personally stand for about 30 minutes right after lunch or whenever I feel sleepy in the afternoon to make me less lethargic.
Lastly, consider getting an arm rest to support your wrists while you are jamming away on your keyboard. Ideally we would like to maintain the posture shown in the image above, but additional support for our wrist would prevent aching wrists and long term injuries such as Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI).
3) Eyes Are The Window To Your Soul
I am sure most of us are familiar with this famous quote by Shakespeare, therefore whatever we see constantly every day will most certainly affect our thoughts and beliefs. Ok that was a bit far-fetched, but you get my point. Fill your work space with motivational thoughts or quotes that will spur you on when you feel like throwing in the towel after a tough day.
Add some colour to your work space! Having highly saturated blue or green backgrounds around your work space will create a stimulating but calm atmosphere for your mind and emotions. Some red, orange or yellow will add some energy and vitality and make things look less dull. This is useful if you also intend to colour code your folders or work trays. For me, I use a red tray for urgent and important matters, and light orange for trivial errands that I can do while taking a break.
4) Become One With Nature
Admit it, sometimes you just wish you could be outdoors somewhere, enjoying the warm sunlight on your face, feeling the cool breeze in your hair and smelling the scent of grass in the wind. While not all of us like the outdoors all the time, sitting in the office the whole day can really stifle your mood.
So if you can, find a place with natural light or somewhere near a window because research has shown that we work best with natural light. If not, consider replacing your office lamp with a daylight lamp.
Grow some small plants near your work space that you can gaze at whenever you are taking a break. Having some green around you will lighten up the mood with a subtle sense of tranquility, knowing that there is at least another living thing in your cubicle. If you have brown thumbs, do not worry because there are plenty of resilient house plants that require minimal care and are easy to manage. If you cannot grow real ones, having a fake one will have to do.
5) Sprinkle A Dash Of You
By now, you should have a neat and pleasant work space, but it still lacks a bit of something; a bit of YOU! I am sure we all have our own quirky way to eating certain types of food. Whenever I go to McDonalds, my good friend enjoys eating his burger buns first before eating the beef patties. I personally like adding ketchup to all my staple foods, may it be fried rice, rice vermicelli or pasta.
This same rule of your personality should apply to your work space. Most of us pin up photos of our loved ones or our latest holiday to remind us of the good memories. Those who have children can consider displaying the silly artwork of their children in a photo frame. That’s definitely a great way to put a smile on your face when you are feeling low. A recent study has shown that employees who are able to personalize their work space report lower levels of emotional exhaustion because they consciously or subconsciously take comfort in these memorabilia. Time to print some photos!
6) Keep A Stash Of Munchies
Although I do not think snacking in the office is a good idea, especially since we often end up going overboard and eating everything in our cabinet in one week, there are times when I feel peckish and itching for a snack. That is why I personally recommend a few healthier snacks that are lower in calories and still satisfy your hunger pangs. For drinks, the standard tea or coffee will do, but having them without sugar will likely make you less thirsty and craving for more. For those who want to nibble, having cut fruits, grapes or nuts will be a good alternative to binging on chips and chocolates. Dried fruits are also another option because they contain lots of vitamins and minerals, but make sure they are not loaded with preservatives and artificial sweeteners.
And there you have it! A efficient and livable work space that will help you perform better at work. Thanks for reading!